Russian Federation

[RU] Rules on labelling “foreign media agents” enforced

IRIS 2021-1:1/1

Andrei Richter

Center for Media, Data and Society, School of Public Policy, Central European University (Budapest)

On 23 September 2020, Roskomnadzor, the Russian governmental supervisory authority in media and communications (see IRIS 2012-8/36), issued a decree that approved the standard text and procedure for publishing the imprint of a registered media outlet founded with the participation of a Russian legal entity that performs the functions of a “foreign agent” (see IRIS 2020-1/6). This was a requirement of Article 27 of the Statute of the Russian Federation “On the Mass Media” (О средствах массовой информации), as amended on 2 December 2019. The decree was duly registered by the Ministry of Justice on 19 October 2020 (N60449) and entered into force on 30 October 2020.

The standard imprint says: “The following story (material) is produced and/or distributed by the foreign mass media outlet that performs the functions of a foreign agent, and/or by the Russian legal entity that performs the functions of a foreign agent.”

The decree prescribes that the imprint with the standard statement on the “foreign agent” origin of a media story or material should be in audio form in the audiovisual media, last no less than 15 seconds at a normal speed, be at the same volume as the audiovisual material itself, and have no background noise or music.

In the online media, it should be in text form. The size of the font used for the imprint should be twice the size of the font used for the story (material) itself and the imprint should immediately follow the headline of the story, or – if there is no headline – should be placed before the story. Such a warning should precede each and every story by the media outlet that performs the functions of a “foreign agent”.


  • Приказ Федеральной службы по надзору в сфере связи, информационных технологий и массовых коммуникаций от 23.09.2020 г. № 124 "Об утверждении формы указания на то, что сообщения и материалы иностранного средства массовой информации, выполняющего функции иностранного агента, и (или) российского юридического лица, выполняющего функции иностранного агента, распространяемые на территории Российской Федерации, созданы и (или) распространены указанными лицами, а также требований и порядка размещения такого указания"
  • Order of the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Communications, Information Technologies and Mass Communications of September 23, 2020 No. 124 "On approval of the form indicating that messages and materials of a foreign mass media performing the functions of a foreign agent, and (or) a Russian legal entity performing the functions of a foreign agent, distributed on the territory of the Russian Federation, created and (or) distributed by the specified persons, as well as the requirements and procedure for placing such instructions "”. Rossiyskaya gazeta

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This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.